It is important that young people are empowered to shape things such as education, employment, economic opportunity and the fight against climate change, according to Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada.
He said so during the 7th Commonwealth Heads of Government Sideline Intergenerational Dialogue which concluded on June 25.
The Dialogue is a conversation between Heads of Government and five young representatives from Commonwealth regions to share various challenges facing young people and make recommendations.
It is important to note that 60% of the 2.6 billion family inhabitants of the 54 Commonwealth countries are young people aged 30 and under.
Trudeau stressed that young people should contribute directly to the policies and positions that the Commonwealth proposes as an organization.
“We need you to be active and to do that we need to make sure we empower you as much as possible,” he said.
The Canadian Prime Minister who arrived in Rwanda on Thursday to attend CHOGM also urged young people to take up leadership positions in politics.
“As politicians we tend to work on a shorter term cycle…we also need to know that the decisions we make now will resonate for a decade, for a generation, especially for climate change and that’s where that your perspective… on how you are going to live in 20 years, is critical to government.
He added: “If we don’t get all young people to demand, to shape a better future for themselves, their community, the Commonwealth around the world, then we are missing an opportunity to get it right.
President Wavel Ramkawalan of Seychelles said that as politicians waged election campaigns, they realized that young people were increasingly disconnected from politics.
“The reason is simple, they don’t feel like there’s anything for them in politics, they don’t feel like leaders are speaking on their behalf and at the same time many feel that they are not taken into account,” he noted.
However, Ramkawalan said young people have an important role to play in breaking the cycle, “instead of staying away, you have to come in and only by coming in will you make your voice heard and changes will happen.”
Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, thanked the Youth Council representatives who voiced the various concerns of their peers and assured them that the Commonwealth is committed to shaping the future with them.
Pakistan is expected to host the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in January 2023.